Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib is the seventh of nine 2013 NFL Draft quarterback prospects that Buffalo Rumblings will profile this off-season. Nassib is the odds-on favorite among many draftniks to be picked by the Buffalo Bills due to his connection to head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Nassib is a great prospect in his own right, with the ability to step in and play at the NFL level soon - and with room for growth.
Ryan Nassib | QB | Syracuse
- 6'2 1/8", 227 pounds
- Started 38 games over three seasons (21-17 record, 2-0 in bowl games)
- Career stats: 791/1,312 (60.3% completions), 9,190 yards (7.0YPA), 70 TD, 28 INT
Nassib is physically and mentally tough. He's a throwback style of quarterback, and the comparisons to Jim Kelly aren't far off in terms of how Nassib approaches the game. He's well-muscled, very strong, and sturdy enough to take a pounding over the course of a season and still deliver the football. Nassib's arm strength is above average. While it's not an elite arm a la Matthew Stafford, he throws with a great deal of velocity on longer throws down the field. In terms of arm strength, he's in the Eli Manning class: just below elite, but more than enough power to make all the throws.
Nassib shows NFL grade accuracy. His completion percentage isn't great, but he was running Hackett's NFL style offense, making pro reads at speed. Nassib is an anticipation thrower, and can throw receivers open against coverage. He can put the ball into tight windows and can already make throws required in the NFL. To boot, he's got great pocket presence, regularly standing in and delivering under pressure.
He is NFL-ready. Nassib played well in a high-tempo, pro style offense. He can call plays at speed, audible on his own, read defenses both pre- and post-snap, and make pro progressions. Nassib regularly went through his progressions to his third and fourth receiver, keeping plays alive for Syracuse.
Nassib is smart and a fast learner. Syracuse turned their up-tempo package into their base offense ten days prior to the start of the 2012 season, and Nassib adjusted and thrived. Nassib responds well to adversity, brought his team from behind repeatedly, plays big in big games, and wills his teams to wins. He comes across mature in interviews - the type of guy you want leading your team, or you want to be led by.
Syracuse ran a lot of read option, but Nassib is not a great runner, though he can run for power with his body composition. He has average speed and gets caught easily. He can be elusive in the pocket but won't get away from most NFL pass rushers.
Nassib shows wasted motion in his mechanics, jittering around too much. When he's at his best, he shows a nice compact release with an over-the-top throwing motion. He'll need to work on consistency. He also shows a weird habit of throwing way too hard on shorter routes and not hard enough on fades. He'll need to stop trying to peel his receiver's fingers off in the shorter zones, and put some more power on the ball throwing deep.
The Syracuse star is the best combination of present capability and future potential of all the quarterbacks in the draft. He clearly has the required skills to play quarterback in the NFL - and very well. Nassib more than capably ran an NFL offense at Syracuse, posting great statistics as a senior, including a 62.4% completion percentage. I believe Nassib has plenty of room for growth. Syracuse didn't run a full NFL offense, keeping the passing offense mostly in the horizontal timing range, though Nassib's arm strength is clearly strong enough to throw more vertical combinations. That's where Nassib's growth potential lies.
Nassib is the type of quarterback teams - the players - want. He's a guy teams are going to respect. He plays tough and not like a quarterback in a skirt. And he's the type of quarterback that can put the team on his shoulders and carry them to wins. While he many not be the most physically imposing quarterback in the draft with the highest ceiling, there's enough for me to think he'll eventually be this draft's best quarterback.